By CBS3 Staff


LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Police in Ocean County have charged a homeowner for hosting a pop-up wedding with more than 50 people in attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in the week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy banned gatherings of 50 or more people in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Lakewood police have charged 49-year-old Eliyohu Zaks with maintaining a nuisance for hosting the wedding at a home on Spruce Street.

“The Lakewood Police is asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those that choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution,” police said in a statement.

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Lakewood police say they have responded to approximately 17 calls for violations of the social distancing restrictions laid out by the state.

On Friday, Murphy said he expects to issue more restrictions on social distancing, probably Saturday, but didn’t indicate what that might be.

There are currently 890 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, including 11 deaths.